Friday, June 24, 2011

Rolando Villazón Takes on Barbara Streisand in New Recording

"Although he has starred in a glittering roll-call of operatic roles, Rolando Villazón has always felt inspired by a broader range of music. 'I love musicals!' he declares. 'When I was twelve I used to sing the soundtrack of Man of La Mancha. I was Don Quixote.' Villazón also adores zarzuela, that distinctively Spanish genre which mixes opera, popular song and dance, and so it’s no great surprise to find that the ever-enthusiastic Mexican tenor should also be a fan of classic songs from the movies, of which he has made a personal selection for this new album. It is a collection of memorable and evocative tunes, sung with passion and brio by Villazón. He has enlisted some expert musical assistance in his quest to capture the spirit of the movies on disc. Arrangers Nicholas Dodd and Steven Baker can reel off a list of
Villazón: Opera Star to Pop Star
credits in choral, orchestral and vocal recordings, and Dodd has regularly collaborated with David Arnold on his James Bond soundtracks. Grammy-winning producer Simon Franglen has experienced Hollywood at its most lavish, having worked on James Cameron’s big-budget epics Avatar and Titanic, as well as on Baz Luhrmann’s musical fantasy Moulin Rouge. In addition, he has collaborated with some of the music industry’s all-time best-selling divas, namely Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand. It was of course Streisand who made the world sing along to the soundtrack from Yentl, in which she starred in 1983 and from whose soundtrack Villazón has picked 'A Piece of Sky.' Like many listeners, he was captivated by the song’s spirit
of wonder and its aspirational mood, which he movingly evokes here. Streisand was also one of the singers who popularized 'The Summer Knows,' taken from Michel Legrand’s soundtrack to the 1971 coming-of-age drama Summer of ’42. In fact the song became such a popular favourite that it was recorded by a host of legendary performers, not least Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams, so Villazón had to make sure he was tuned to perfection the day he recorded that one." [Source]

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